Monday, 16 May 2016


I saw this on someone's timeline on Facebook yesterday and it prompted me to do a blog post.

I've never really taken too much notice of the books, articles etc that interpret dreams.  I'm not sure I really want to know what they mean.  How does anyone know how to interpret them anyway?

We all have dreams don't we?  Or maybe some people don't.  They can stir up all sorts of emotions:  happiness, sadness, anxiety, and especially if they are so vivid that when we wake up we believe that they are real.

When I was a child I had a recurring dream about being able to fly.  In my dream I would come out of the house, to the end of the road, turn left until I came across a road which was a steep hill.  I would stand at the top of the road...jump...and fly to the bottom.

A common dream seems to be about falling.  I've had this one many times.  Another is trying to reach a destination but finding it impossible because of so many obstacles in my way.  I tend to get this last one if I am due to go on a journey, or if I am anxious about the dogs.

A rather more pleasant one that I had when I was a child was when I would be walking along a road and every few steps I found money on the ground.  I picked it up, continued walking and finding more.   If this was a sign that I might win the lottery, it never happened!

Occasionally I have a dream which, on waking and realising it's not true, upsets me dreadfully.   I have been estranged from my son for 18 years.  His choice, even though I still make attempts to contact him.   In my dream we have reconciled and my son is part of my life now.  It all seems so vivid and real.  Initially on awakening I still believe it and feel really happy.  After a short while the truth hits me and the sadness overwhelms me.

What do you dream about?   Are your dreams happy or sad?  Interesting or disturbing?  Have you actually tried to find out what they mean?  I'd like to know.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Scaling back

This time last year the tourist season was well under way and Kaya was doing well in his job.  He gets a small basic wage but his earnings rely on selling excursions to customers when he does his welcome meetings at the many hotels he is responsible for.

So far this year, he is still working long hours.  There are fewer reps employed by the company which means those who are working have more hotels to cover.  But there are not as many customers so it's proving difficult to earn money.  I think most of us suspected that this would be a bad season but we tried to live in hope.  Businesses will close because rents won't be covered.  There will undoubtedly be many out of work this year.  We are lucky that Kaya still has a job.

I am pretty good at economising when I need to.  I've had times in my life when I could afford to buy whatever I wanted, but times when money was in very short supply.  I can adapt easily and the habit I have had for years of checking prices in supermarkets for the best deals, has never left me.

Kaya has sold the car.  He has replaced it with a motorbike which is almost brand new.  This means that the debt on the car has now been cleared.  He has a company car with his job but if he wants to use it to come home the company make him pay highly for the privilege.  The idea was to leave our car at home for me to use throughout the summer but because of the changes in law on driving licences, I am not able to drive here now, unless I take a Turkish driving test at great expense.  Now he can come home sometimes on the motorbike and the cost of petrol will be a fraction of what it costs to use the car.

It will be difficult if we need to take dogs to the vet, and collect sacks of food, but we will have to borrow a car if necessary.   I think some of you may remember just how much Kaya can manage to carry on a we'll manage!

I am used to using the dolmuş to go into Milas or further afield, and my good friend David usually takes me shopping in Milas once a week, which helps enormously.

We may also have to cut back on what we provide to the dogs in the area.  Even though we have donations coming in, it's never enough.  My fund is still in the red.  When I see dogfood on offer I buy it anyway because I can't afford to miss good deals, and then hope money will eventually come in to cover it.  Sometimes it does, but sometimes it doesn't.  Feeding and providing vet care for my 12 rescues costs a great deal, so I rely on donations to pay for all the other dogs (and cats) out there that we are trying to help.   We will continue to feed those we are committed to, but we know our limitations and it will be difficult to take on responsibility for any more.

I hate asking for money.  To be honest, writing about it in a blog post seems easier than just coming straight out with it on my Facebook page.   I am however extremely grateful for those who have continued to donate.  Without your generosity, we'd never have managed to help so many animals in need.

If you would like to help, you will find the PayPayl button at the top right hand side of this page.  Thankyou xxx


Tuesday, 3 May 2016

When you just don't have a clue!!

Yesterday I lost my internet connection on my laptop but still had it on my phone.  To my non-technical brain this just doesn't make sense.  Although I'm sure you pc wizards out there know exactly what was wrong.

So I fiddled about with all sorts of things in the hope that I would by some miracle be connected again.  I wish I wasn't always tempted to do this.  I don't know what I'm doing and I am sure I do more harm than good.  Does anyone else do this?

At one point I decided to refresh my PC which meant that apps that I use every day were uninstalled and those I had painstakingly uninstalled last year were reinstalled.  And of course it made no difference whatsoever to my internet connection.

I phoned TTNet last night wishing my Turkish was better, and wishing even more that the customer service operators who answer after you have chosen the "English speaking" option could actually speak English...or at least something vaguely coherent.  I think he said it was a router problem and gave me another number to call.  I asked him to repeat it three times, still didn't understand so gave up.

I phoned them again this morning and got a girl who was most unhelpful so gave up again.  I sent a message to my brother-in-law who usually helps solve my pc problems but he's out of the country.  I asked Kaya if he knew anyone in the village who might be able to help.  Sure enough he did.  The guy turned up at 4pm with his little dog on a lead.  Tiny timid little thing but very well cared for and loved...that was quite clear.

I have my laptop and modem in the bedroom, but I couldn't bring the man and dog through the gate and into the house as the dogs would have gone berserk.

So he tied the dog's lead to a pole at the side of the house and climbed through my bedroom window.  No problem here, except that a couple of neighbours just up the road were watching.  No doubt this bit of activity will spread like wildfire throughout the village.  Ah well gives them something to talk about.

The most important thing is that he managed to sort out the problem with my laptop in 10 minutes....then exited via the bedroom window...being closely watched again by the neighbours.

I had an appointment at the hospital yesterday concerning the problems with my hip and leg.  X-rays were taken but it's not clear what's causing the problem.  In the meantime I have strong painkillers and anti-inflammatories and will go back in 10 days, and probably have another MRI scan if there is no improvement.

Although Kaya has been working since the end of March, this season is so quiet and he is not earning money yet.   We are considering selling the car and getting a motorbike.  Because of the license situation I won't be able to drive it anyway and a motorbike will be cheaper to run.  This is going to be a very difficult season for those working in tourism.  Let's hope it picks up.

Meanwhile, the dogs are all OK.  Blondie is doing well and I think I may be able to remove her bandage tomorrow as the scar has healed well.  I'll leave the lampshade on for a while yet to make sure she leaves the wound alone.

I am still in the red with my donation fund and am getting quite anxious about being able to buy more stocks of food for the village and sanayi dogs.  I may have to consider cutting back on what we provide.  Thankyou everyone who donates to help us to care for the dogs, and if anyone else would like to help, it will be very much appreciated. (You will find the Paypal button at the top right hand corner of this page).

If you are on Facebook and not yet a member of my group page, you are very welcome to join.  Just click on this link: Ayak's Animal Welfare (Dogs and Cats)

Sunday, 24 April 2016

I've been gone some time.....

...well I haven't of course.  I've been here all the time but it's been a long time since I did a blog post.

Our work with rescuing dogs continues.  We now have 12 at home.  Kaya had taken several dogs over to Mugla shelter who agreed to treat them.  Some isolated with mange and some that the shelter agreed to vaccinate, neuter and spay as long as we collected them and returned to the areas from which we removed them.  This has now been completed.

One of the dogs taken to Mugla was a boy we called Arthur.  He had a tumour on his face which the vet removed.  He was vaccinated and neutered and Kaya collected him two days later and placed him at the sanayi for safety.

Several hours later Arthur turned up in the village where he found Kaya at the teahouse.  He had crossed two dual carriageways and walked the 5km to the village.   Kaya left him there and returned home.  Ten minutes later Arthur found his way to our house and cried outside the gate.  We took him in and he has now been with us for about 4 weeks.

After a couple of days he went down with kennel cough.  He was very poorly and was taken to our vet.  He deteriorated so we got a second opinion from Pethane vets in Bodrum.  They prescribed medication and after a bit of a struggle which included having to feed him with a syringe, he finally recovered.  He was very thin but is eating well now and is very much stronger.

As I suspected, my other dogs succumbed to kennel cough.  In fact out of the 12 dogs, Sadie was the only one to avoid it.  They all recovered quite quickly, thanks to being fit healthy dogs.

I've had visits in the past few weeks.  Audrey from Bodrum popped in for coffee and spent some time playing with the dogs.   My friend Tamara on a visit to Turkey, stopped off to stay with me for 4 days and we had a great time.

Kaya started work at the end of March.  It's quiet at the moment.  It's early in the season and we are hoping that the recent problems in this country won't have too much effect on tourism.  We'll just have to wait and see.

I have had problems with my hip and leg, which is clearly all part of my osteoarthritis....old age creeping up on me I'm afraid.   It wasn't helped by an incident yesterday when I went out to feed the 7 big dogs.   Three dishes placed in the first area for Chas, Melek and Sadie, and as I was walking up the step through the connecting gate to the second area, I slipped and fell on my back.  At the same time 4 dishes of food shot up in the air and scattered so there was a bit of a free for all with the dogs.

Recovering myself, I returned to the house and brought out more food for the dogs who didn't manage to get to the scattered food quick enough.

This morning I am hobbling about.  I have a big bruise on my backside and I think I will have to start wearing my orthopaedic corset once again and use the strong painkillers prescribed just before Christmas.

It's at times like this I realise how much I miss Kaya when he's working.

We had hoped that our car would be left here this summer for me to use.  I was told by the traffic police in Bodrum that as long as I had my UK driving license translated and noterised I could drive on this...even though my license has expired.  Frankly I was doubtful but got it translated and noterised anyway.

The law concerning driving licenses changed in January this year, and recent info seems to indicate that an expired license would not be allowed.  I would have to take a driving test here to obtain a Turkish great expense.  Those people with resident permits can change their current UK licences.  But even if my license hadn't expired, I have dual nationality so it doesn't seem to apply to me.  Most foreigners here will agree that there seems to be a concerted effort to make life as difficult for them as possible.

So the bottom line is that a car is of no use to me here.  If I need to get shopping I will have to use the dolmus, wait for the rare occasion that Kaya can get home, or rely on others, such as my friend David when he goes into Milas.   I hate not being independent!

Just a few photos from the past few weeks.

Tamara playing tug of war with the dogs

Kahve and another dog on their way back from Mugla Shelter



Feeding Arthur with syringe

Kaya with Arthur and the little ones

Audrey with Arthur and little ones

Me with some of the big ones all wanting cuddles

Saturday, 5 March 2016

My Turkey Journey

Occasionally people ask me about where I have lived in Turkey and a few years ago I did a blog post about my journey which began almost 18 years ago.

The last post in the series was written in our last home in Selçuk.

We moved from there to this village outside Milas almost 8 year ago and this is where I upped my game in rescuing and caring for dogs, simply because at long last we had the space to do it.

In the absence of being inspired to write anything at the moment, I thought I would share my journey for those of you who may be interested in some of the different areas of Turkey, and my ups and downs along the way.

The following list links to old blog posts for each area, and ends with Selçuk, before moving to our current home.

So, here are the links, in order, starting with my first home in Gümüslük.



Side, Antalya

Ceylan (on the way to Cappadocia)

A bit about Cappadocia

Arriving in Cappadocia


Recent post - memories of Göreme (and a video)

Göreme to Selçuk


Friday, 26 February 2016

Recovery and Moving on

After I published my last blog post about my anxiety HERE I knew that writing about my feelings would help me.  What I didn't expect was the huge level of support I received as a result.

Of course I wasn't surprised that my close friends who know me well would understand completely that when I am in this black pit I'm not always the best person to be around, that I can act out of character, or shut myself away.  

It's to be expected that some I considered to be friends would not understand, but instead could be harsh and unforgiving, but that's fine.  Not everyone gets it. Depression can make you lose friendships, but it also makes you realise who your true friends are.

It's not always easy to hold your hands up. and apologise unreservedly for a blip in one's normal behaviour.  I can do it because over many years I have learned that none of us are perfect.  We are all flawed on some way.  So I forgive easily if someone upsets me.   I hope to receive the same in return.  If I don't then reluctantly I move on.  To dwell on it will not change things.

So thankyou so much to all those who sent me such lovely messages of support and encouragement, particularly to those who also suffer from depression, anxiety and paranoia.  You already know that I will be there for you when you are low, because I get it, and I appreciate your friendship when I need it most.

My mood has lifted considerably since last week.  I was sorry to leave my daughter and grandsons.  My time with them is always so short.  But each time I stay in the UK I feel more and more like a fish out of water.  After 18 years in Turkey, and in spite of all the problems we have here at the moment, it is my home.  It's where I belong.

I have thrown myself back into caring for the animals here.  Our 11 dogs gave me the best welcome, as did Kaya.  Like most men, he copes when his wife is away, but prefers me to be here.  He hasn't been well and has been making trips to the hospital, but we are remaining positive.  He quit smoking three weeks ago.  He has tried many times over the years to do so, but has never lasted more than one day.  I am amazed and very proud of him.  

Fistik has been receiving treatment for her yeast infection. This has necessitated trips to the vet every three days for injections and using lotion on her body to prevent her licking and scratching.  I'm afraid this dear little girl has always had skin problems, way before she came to us, and may continue to have these, but we will always make sure she has the best treatment.

I bought flea collars and worm tablets while I was in England and these were used on our 11 dogs yesterday.  The collars were normal ones, but they won't offer enough protection against ticks once the weather gets warmer, so these will be replaced by Paraband collars in April.

We travelled over to Bodrum on Tuesday to stock up with more dog food, and called in to see Annie on the way back.  We left some food, and also met Annie's "mum's" cat Sarı.  

The dog in the village that bit a child has been removed by the Belediye, but the four remaining dogs who we recently vaccinated, remain here.   We don't know how safe they are.  People are saying that if we continue to feed them, they will also bite people.  They just don't get that the opposite is true.  We are planning to remove them and place at the sanayi.  Two of them are female and we want to get them spayed, but we need to raise the money to do so first.

More food has also been delivered to the shepherd for his dog and more will be delivered to the sanayi today.  We continue to feed cats outside our house, and at least three are making good use of the cathouse Kaya built.  We also continue to supply food for Dursune's cat, Tekir.

As usual, thankyou to those of you who continue to donate to help with our work.  Donations are always needed and are very gratefully received.

We gathered together some leftover tiles yesterday and now have enough to lay them under the gazebo in the garden.  So this is Kaya's current project.  He likes to keep busy.

In the meantime I am making plans to get out and about a bit more.  Catch-up for coffee in Milas with my dear friend David today.   I am meeting up with two friends in Bodrum on Sunday, and the following week will be going to Didim for a couple of days to stay with friends who will be visiting their holiday home.  Another friend is hoping to come over from the UK to stay with me sometime in April, and I am looking forward to this.  My friend Gwen will also be over for a couple of months and will catch up with her too.

Moving on...onwards and upwards.   Have a good weekend everyone.

Friday, 19 February 2016


Feeling constantly anxious is part of my everyday life.  It goes hand in hand with my depression and paranoia.  Those who have followed my blog for some time will have occasionally seen posts like this one.

There are two reasons for putting my thoughts and feelings here.  Firstly, those of you suffering from any kind of mental health problem will recognise them and maybe you won't feel so alone.  Secondly, when I am feeling as low and anxious as I am at the moment, writing about it sometimes puts it into perspective and can help me to cope.

So I am here in England for 12 days and should be happy, right?  Then why am I waking up each morning in tears? Why am I feeling like this?

There are things going on both within my family and in the outside world that make me incredibly anxious.  This is not ordinary anxiety and concern is way off the scale.   I can't talk to anyone here about my feelings.  In fact there are very few people I can talk to these days.  People have their own problems.  I don't like to bother I write about it instead.

So then the paranoia raises its ugly head.  Feeling hurt at the slightest innocent remark.  Reacting badly to such remarks.  Apologising but receiving no sign of being forgiven.   Making conversation but feeling that you are being ignored.  Always asking how others are and showing concern and interest, even though they don't ask how I'm feeling.    Generally feeling like a bloody nuisance.

So that's the self-indulgent part of depression.  It is a selfish illness made all the harder if you are not a selfish person by nature.  That perhaps sounds like a contradiction.   I do care a great deal, perhaps too much, about my family, friends, people and animals......and what's happening every day in this violent uncaring world.  But I sometimes feel that when it comes to my needing a bit of understanding, there's no-one there.  So it's all too easy to sink into a black hole and feel sorry for myself.

So there it my chest...and I'm feeling better already (well just a bit)

Now I can talk about the best bit of my visit.  Two hectic days in Bristol with Stella, Billy and Jimi.  We arrived after midday on Monday and left at 2pm on Tuesday, but managed to cram an awful lot in.  We visited @Bristol Science Museum on Monday afternoon. Dinner out in the evening.  There are so many lovely restaurants in Bristol.  After a hearty breakfast at the hotel on Tuesday we visited Bristol Aquarium and then M Shed which is a museum dedicated to the people and history of Bristol.

After a quick lunch we headed back on the train feeling quite exhausted but I think the boys enjoyed themselves.

Much has been going on at home while I've been here.  Another bomb in Ankara and further attacks in the east of Turkey.  Warships being sent to the Aegean to apparently deal with the traffickers taking refugees to Greece...quite how this works or what will happen to the refugees is not altogether clear.  No doubt even more suffering for these people who have already been through far too much.

So it's a worrying time and no doubt I'm not the only one feeling anxious about the future.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

FACEBOOK UPDATES ON DOGS. As at Tuesday 9th February.

4th February

This dog has been in our village for a while now. He seems happy and we feed him. He has been accepted by people here and we consider him to be as safe as its possible to be.
However this morning Kaya noticed something wrong with his testicles. He is now with our Vet who diagnosed a nasty infection so he has been neutered and given antibiotics and will stay in the clinic tonight or until we feel he has recovered sufficiently to be returned to the village.

5th February

The dog at the Vet clinic is staying there until Monday. He is fine but the weather is awful so a few days of shelter will enable him to recover. He will be vaccinated before he leaves.
Three more village dogs also vaccinated today. You may recognise the photo of the black dog as I posted it on here a couple of weeks ago. Battery ran out before Kaya could take a photo today. This dog has gradually moved into the centre from his hiding place so has gained in confidence.One more vaccination to be done today or tomorrow.
Two females will be spayed and vaccinated some time next week.

9th February  a.m.

The dog who was treated for testicle infection, neutered and vaccinated was collected from our Vet yesterday after spending four nights in the clinic. After much discussion yesterday we decided to relocate him to the sanayi.

The village people are OK with the dogs at the moment but this one does hang around the teahouse and we can see it becoming a bit of a nuisance in time.
He is now being looked after by the man who has cared for Kahve and several others who were placed at the sanayi by us more than a year ago. This is proof enough for us that they are safe as long as we continue to provide food and any Vet treatment necessary. There is plenty of shelter there from bad weather and the dogs are happy.
The safety and well-being of the village dogs is what's important.
Today we need to take two of our dogs to the Vet. Megan is struggling with her arthritis and Fistik's yeast infection has flared up again. Just wanting to get these things sorted before I go to England on Friday.


A visit to the vets. Megan's arthritis is getting worse and she has tablets to take and will be checked again in three weeks time.
Fistik has another yeast infection. This poor girl has been plagued with these skin problems since long before she came to us. This particular infection is not contagious but she has several creams and lotions to be administered daily and she had injections today. She has to go to the clinic for further injections every 3 days until the condition has cleared up.
On return to the village Kaya was confronted by an angry man who informed him that his daughter had been bitten by a dog in the centre of the village. It seems that this dog was a new arrival...early hours of this morning...another one dumped no doubt. The girl has been to hospital. Not a serious bite but the usual precautions taken.
It was understandable that the man was upset but he was blaming Kaya, saying that it was his fault for feeding the dogs. Kaya said that if he DIDN'T feed the dogs in the village there would be more problems. The dogs are not hungry and as such they cause no problems.
Well the upshot of all this was that the Muhtar became involved and the Belediye phoned and the dog will be removed and taken to Milas shelter.
Unfortunately, he has insisted that four other dogs who congregate in the centre are to also be removed. Kaya argued the point as these dogs are causing no harm. They have all been vaccinated by us and flea and worm treated. Two of them are the females we planned to have spayed this week, but I guess the only positive in all this is that they will be spayed by the Belediye shelter.
The man had said that if they weren't removed then he would kill them. A threat made in anger of course, but Kaya reminded him that it was against the law and if he attempted to do this to any dogs in the village he would be reported and prosecuted.
Of course children have to be protected, and even though I feel we are making progress here, it seems like it's one step forward and three back.

Elizabeth's Rescues....Part 5...Bilbo

This is the last of the guest posts by my friend Elizabeth about her Turkish rescues.  I hope you have enjoyed the series as much as I have:

And so we come to the last one of our Turkish Family.

After rescuing Frodo we knew his brother was also left behind. Bilbo was bigger but with a hound dog expression. Frodo followed him everywhere which is why we took him first as Frodo had a chance to be his own dog. So we asked for things to be processed. The first rabies tests were unsuccessful so poor BIlbo had another year until the rabies was redone and there was a delivery to the UK.
I managed to get him transported to Carlisle. I did not want to drive again  that long, long journey from Folkestone to Aberdeenshire. Give me rural roads any day - not motorways.
He arrived at a service station outside Carlisle at midnight in August 2014. The driver had managed to have him walking on the lead and toileting on the verges. This was definitely better than Frodo who had not ventured out of his cage.  So we safely drove home and arrived at 6am and I introduced him to his brother in the chalet. 

I went for a few hours sleep and at ten,  crossed the garden to see how the brothers were getting on and saw right into the room. Where were the curtains? 
Oh, they'd had fun together. Such excitement!!! Four curtains shredded on the floor!
I hoped this dog would be braver and come out of the chalet quickly. He did better than Frodo, but was very shy and scared for quite a while. He must have wondered how Frodo had changed so much . The little scary pup had turned into a hooligan but it was good for Bilbo to see him boinging along.

Like Frodo, Bilbo looked for a " safe" place in the chalet- jumping on to the kitchen work surfaces and hiding his head in a corner, if we went in. This was dangerous and he'd jump in panic, sliding across the surfaces so when he was out one day, I closed the kitchen door so his " safe " place became the shower unit where he stayed for a few months. He would sneak in there if anyone came along when he was out in the garden. 

I'd been here before so left him and , sure enough, he came into the main room without any intervention from us, and adopted a lounge chair as his. Then proceeded to tear it to bits!!!
After that he went for the next chair and did the same. Ah well. Willie, the young lab, sleeps with the hobbits ,  but on the sofa. Well sure enough Bilbo started on that so I just cover it all up with blankets and they still use the half torn suite.

One day, as with Frodo, Bilbo asked out for a walk . You just know when they are ready. So , with Charlie our older Lab's help, we set off into our wood, and he so enjoyed it. This was going to be a daily ritual.
At the moment Bilbo is walking every day off the lead into our horses' fields with Charlie, Willie and Zozz. He loves the pool and is very like a Labrador in behaviour.  On my last stay in Turkey Robert had him on the lead and they were getting on well but the horses approached and he panicked and Mum was  nowhere to be found, so he wiggled out of his collar and scarpered into the field and disappeared. I know how little he can make himself if afraid and he had been hiding in the hedges but Robert was frantic. I phoned and told Robert to leave all the gates open, drop one of my jackets at the doorway , and keep the passage into his chalet clear- he'd appear. Of course he did and came home - both very relieved males!!! 

But that made Bilbo suspicious of Robert and we've had a long , long trial of Robert trying to get round him again.  At the moment Bilbo goes willingly with Robert on the lead to the pool,  and I appear  after a half hour and slip his leash so he has some fee time running . Robert sneaks off and Bilbo is confident with me.  It takes forever with him- one step forward , one step back but it's all adding up to a lovely, happy dog.

Initially he was a Scooby Doo dog - all legs everywhere, ears flapping wildly while he ran with his tail whirling all over the place but as he has developed fitness he has a strong, loping run . He also had no spacial awareness and when I called would run to me, almost knocking me over, banging into my legs, side swiping me with his body and this also is improving- which is great as he's a big dog to hit you full on!
So we continue. These dogs bring such joy into our lives but we are fortunate that being retired we have the time  and, being in rural Aberdeenshire, we have the space for them. Not easy dogs - but we have an enormous sense of achievement when we see them blossoming. 

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Elizabeth's Rescues...Part 4 Zorro

When Frodo arrived Zorro came too.
Poor Zorro had been taken into the Turgutreis shelter at two years old and was still there eight years later. 
What keeps an animal's spirit up? In a word Volunteers, as there was precious little for him there. He was in a concrete pen with wire door, no blankets or toys allowed as the workers need to hose everyday and these things would get in the way. His outlook was a high white wall. One plus, he had a doggy friend in with him.

So to return to the dedicated volunteers, a couple had been walking Zorro twice a week and each time, in his excitement , he would pee on their boots! He also had a habit of splashing into any water bowl, bucket or puddle he could find. Other than that he was a perfect gentleman- or so they thought. 
But on leaving Turkey they promised the old guy they'd do everything to home him.

I had seen an advert for a tripod from Turgutreis who had been there for five years and  I successfully found him a home near me, but then I heard about Zorro. He had runny eyes, due to we thought inturned eyelashes, so a simple op would cure that. Surely he deserved a chance at a happy life in his old age.

So it was we set things in motion and the other  wonderful volunteers helped by taking him for his injections , bathing him, grooming him and just making him ready for his big day.

Robert and I went across for him, signed the papers and he, without hesitation, jumped into the car and sat in the back with me. Every now and then he'd take a sly peep at me and look as if to say- Well what took YOU so long!!!  We transferred him to the shelter Frodo was in where we knew he would have a chance to build himself up by feeding and running around. I also bought them a water tank- full as he continued his hobby of emptying any water utensil he could find.

So we waited for Frodo and Zorro and drove them up to rural Aberdeenshire. Zorro WAS the perfect gentleman they had promised, walking on the lead and never putting a foot wrong.
He was in the chalet with Frodo to recover from his journey, when he sought out the other dogs who were.............excuse the house!!!!! During the day we would stand gazing into the house and started to resent going back to the chalet at night. So he barked unceasingly for a day or two when we thought, poor soul, he would now be ok with the others. So that next night we had him in the conservatory. He barked and barked unceasingly. So the next night he was transferred to the kitchen- lovely and cosy, where he barked unceasingly. The next night he was put in our bedroom in his own blanket and we all slept!!!!! He has never moved out.

When he arrived he decided he was my official guardian and wherever I went he had to go too. Initially this also meant I had no privacy- even in the bathroom. If someone came to the door and got between me and him he would nip the offending person. Oh dear, so instead of running to the door to welcome people I ran to grab Zorro- or Zozz as he began to be called. 

You can take the dog from the street but not the street out of the dog !! So began, and still does to this day, a competition between us and him to have food out of reach. I am a retired teacher so I DO have eyes in the back of my head but........Bins were great- oh the mess I have cleared up over the years from the recycling. We just give him the packet now to lick, bite and tear as it saves us putting it in the bin then picking it up again as it has been licked, bitten or torn. He is the only dog we have ever had who has managed to take a cooling, roast chicken out of the slightly ajar oven door and run off with it. He has stolen raw herring and eaten one whole!!! Only to be sick after ten minutes and eat it again!!! If a cat is sick its a race to get there first- me with the mop or Zozz to lick it up- Yum!!!

Bless him. His eyes have cleared up without any op- starvation and hollowed eye sockets were to blame. He had a swollen throat at one point and I was devastated to be told it could be a tumour when after a week he mystified all our vets ( who still speak about the miracle dog) when it cleared up. As a Turkish vet once said, These street dogs are made of stone.

We have wildlife pools and Zozz has his splashing times still. He has realised there is no way he'll ever empty them so runs from one  end of the pool  to the other  splashing with a happy grin on his face.  I always say that if he ever has a heart attack it'll be playing and running at the pools with our three year old lab as they both think they are the same age -only ten years between them!!! 
Zozz is SO inspirational.  For all he suffered he has never looked back. He arrived here and thought- Right folks I've a lot of living to do so we'll get on with it. Bless his heart.